A couple years ago, I was really sick. Not anything serious or life-threatening, but my body was out of whack. I had a sinking feeling that I was spending too much time on something I loved -- my business Hint Jewelry and particularly hand-pressing hundreds of metal clay charms.
Maybe this post will come across as a little cynical to the whole handmade movement, which by the way I've always been a bit tickled over, but the reality is that without extra help, making things by hand can take a physical and psychological toll on your body.
The number one thing I did to remedy the illness in my life and find more balance was to stop making my charms by hand and hire a casting company to do the labor for me. By spending less of my time on making charms, I learned to take care of my body and nurtured a soul that was yearning to sit in the sun, ride my bike, cook delicious food, and knit something frivolous. I couldn't do any of these nourishing things, if I was overworking my body.
Always find creative time and space for yourself or your body will find it for you. This was the thing I learned from being trapped on my handmade assembly line. If I wasn't going to take time to relax and play, my body was going to get sick and make me rest but without all the fun.
When you're physically sick, extremely exhausted, or pulled in a million different directions, the last thing you want to do is take on another responsibility like joining a class of self-discovery. However, stepping back from the chaos, going within, checking out of your daily routine, looking at your life from a place of neutral observation so as to see what healthy changes can be made is probably the best first step to getting back into balance.
Claiming time and space to heal your creativity might actually be the hardest thing you've ever done. You might feel you're neglecting family or work if you decide to go on a mental retreat for a couple hours a week. However, by making a choice to devote precious time solely to yourself each week you are beginning the process of moving yourself towards greater wholeness and peace, which ultimately benefits everyone connected to you.
If life is feeling out of control and you're wondering what happened to your creativity or the feeling of enjoying the things you love, then I invite you to take the leap and join our supportive online retreat Mending Creative Time & Space that starts on July 16th and runs for six weeks. To learn more and sign up, click here.
When you heal your creative time and space, you nourish not only yourself but everyone around you.